It seems rather unromantic to think of marriage as anything other than true love and bliss, but the truth is marriage is a legal agreement. Marriage is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.” It’s a legal state, which combines the legal assets of two people. Historically, marriage has been every bit a part of business agreements and familial protection as it ever was about love or romance.
Am I responsible for my spouse’s debt when we marry?
Many people presuppose that, once a couple is married, each person becomes instantly responsible for his or her spouse’s debt and negative credit. Sally Herigstad of CreditCards.com says this isn’t true and each person’s credit histories can in fact remain separate.
What about future debt?
Before you rejoice too much about the good news of not taking on your future spouse’s debt, keep in mind situations change as soon as you’re married and you begin taking on debt while you’re married. According to Nolo, if you have joint accounts, apply for joint credit, cosign, or assign your spouse as an authorized user, this will show up on your credit report.
Should we sign a prenup or wait to get married?
Only you can know what is right in your situation. For some couples, signing a prenup helps clarify expectations of who is responsible for what debt. In other situations, it may be wise to hold off the wedding bells until one or both parties can get their financial houses in order. An experienced prenuptial agreement attorney can give you the advice that will apply best to your unique situation.
Essex County Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Gary J. Natale, P.C., we are serious about protecting your interests. Prenuptial agreements can become useful if the marriage ends and the parties need to divide their assets and debts. If one of the former spouses went into the marriage with a lot of assets or debt, the prenuptial agreement can save time and protect each person’s interests. To get started with an initial consultation contact us today.